Sunday match reports

Just before the final whistle blew at MacHale Park last night, a slew of youngsters had congregated just outside the whitewash on the bacon factory end. The result hadn’t been in doubt for some time and the obligatory pitch invasion was definitely going to happen, which it duly did with some gusto when Seán Hurson signalled the contest’s end.

All those hundreds milling around on the sod in the game’s aftermath summed up an upbeat night for us. Sure, Kerry came – bewilderingly travelling up and down on the one day – with a weakened team but that was their choice and they suffered the consequences for it. From our perspective, we have to be pretty satisfied with our night’s work.

It was, after all, our biggest win over them since 1948. We had ten points to spare over them in that year’s All-Ireland semi-final and then proceeded to wallop them by 4-6 to 0-3 in the National League at MacHale Park that November.

So, then, what’s the world saying about last night’s game? Let’s have a peek online in the usual haunts to find out.

Locals: Connaught Telegraph, The Kerryman.

Nationals: Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Mirror (live blog, match report), Sunday Times.

Others: GAA, RTÉ, Sports Joe, The 42.

Photos: Inpho, Sportsfile.

Video: GAA (highlights), GAA Fan TV (analysis).

Stats: GAA Statsman, Stephen O’Meara.

The lads weren’t, of course, the only Mayo team yesterday to lower the colours of the reigning All-Ireland champions. The county’s women footballers went to Navan and secured a hugely gutsy win over Meath at Páirc Tailteann. Here’s the online coverage of that one:

Match reports: Connaught Telegraph, Irish Times (this report is carried across several outlets), LM FM (includes audio with Meath manager, Davy Nelson).

The county’s third game yesterday also produced a win, this one secured by the U20 footballers over Derry in the Leo Murphy Cup. Michael Gallagher was at this one and his match report on it for the Mayo News is here. Mayo GAA also have photos from the game on their Facebook page – here.

Podcast club members will by now most likely have listened to our Final Whistle show which was recorded straight after the match at MacHale Park last night. Mike is joined on it by Ed McGreal and former Kerry star Ambrose O’Donovan to reflect on how the game went.

Later on this afternoon, we’ll have our full match review pod online, which will also be for club members on Patreon. Rob hosts this one, I’m on it too, as is special guest Colm Boyle, with Rob and Ed doing an in-match segment, while there’s also post-match reaction from Stephen Rochford and Jack O’Connor.

If you’re interested in joining the podcast club, the link for that is here. The 10% discount offer for annual membership is still available.

Finally, the MOTM poll is still open so if you haven’t had your spake there yet then there’s still time to do so. Have a great Sunday, folks.

77 thoughts on “Sunday match reports

  1. If you want to read only one of the above reports, make it “The Examiner”. Wonderful report with great descriptions particularly of Aiden O’Shea – “half man, half bear”

  2. McStay was fierce rude to the TG4 interviewer post match. Not the worst questions I’ve heard.
    If Mayo follow up that performance next week against Tyrone then we are nicely building up towards Championship.

  3. Mcstay is now being rated on how he does interviews. Some dont want him doing any, be it tv or newspaper, and now he gets a grilling if someone doesnt like the tone of his voice. How, how, is he meant to win ?

  4. Travelling Wilbury I didn’t detect any rudeness from McStay but listening to the commentary from TG4 throughout they couldn’t help themselves but play down Mayo and the interviewer started with that same level of condescension. Sure Kerry were missing some players but so were we. No Tommy, Eoghan, Padraig, Michael Plunkett to name 4 that could be starting if available. We beat the all Ireland champions by a large margin and that was simply brushed over as if it were a foregone conclusion,
    I thought McStay was very measured in his answers to be honest.

  5. Delighted with the win and performance, still areas to improve but heading in the right direction. Most of the team that played had an 8 plus out of 10 display which is great and we’ve had game on game improvement IMO also. If D Clifford and Sean O’Shea started it would have been closer no doubt as they don’t have the quality in squad depth to cover their absence

  6. Great Win for Mayo last night
    Roll on Tyrone.
    Almost made me forget about
    The new awful jersey for a while.

  7. It’s nice that McStay’s first win with this Mayo team (discounting pre season) was at home to Kerry, and giving them a much needed thumping in the process. More importantly, we’re continuing the upward curve in terms of performance. I really didn’t see that coming yesterday. Brilliant defence and equally brilliant transition and attacking play. As others have noted, the Conor Loftus experiment at 6 is making more sense. I’m still not fully convinced, as there’ll be tougher tests ahead (Kerry just weren’t at the races at all yesterday), but Conor’s looking more comfortable there. I think the reason it might work is due to our new defensive system, so less reliance on the lottery of one-on-one marking, and the chaos and panic that brings. I think management have rightly accepted that we’ll never win an All Ireland being so open at the back. We couldn’t do it over the last decade with some of the best man-marking defenders the game has ever seen, so I’m glad we’ve now dropped it. That ship has well and truly sailed. I’m delighted to see this new approach. We don’t seem to be losing anything in the attack either which is great to see.

    I thought all the subs did well when they came in which is another huge plus.

    Hopefully McHale Park becomes a fortress once again and teams will dread coming here. Proper order.

    Well done all. In Kev we trust.

  8. If ourselves & the Rossies were to make the league final I wonder could we double it up as a first rnd.of champo as well.
    That’s 1 week’s rest bought there.

  9. Class performance. Loftus doing really well in new position. They all played well except fionn. I felt he wasnt up to it at all. Ryan’s finish for the goal was messi esque. James carr getting more stuck in now. Backs away from nothing and scoring regularly. He always did. Any time u beat kerry ur in good shape. Tyrone next. More of the same please

  10. Delighted to get the win and delighted we were able to close it out . Kerry were very poor so hard to know exactly how good we are but I’ll take a win of any kind over The Kingdom .
    I have to disagree with Travelling Wilburn comment above on McStay post match interview . I actually thought some of the questions were a little perplexing to say the least .I don’t think Jack O Connor would have being asked the same kind of questions .Mind you Jack O Connor didn’t stay in the pitch after the game to answer any questions ?

  11. Top 3 in League from Connacht. Bottom 3 from Ulster!! How times have changed . If we are to meet the Rossies two weeks in a row, I think our stronger bench will be the telling factor. A League final victory would be very nice,thank you

  12. @FDBinashui I couldn’t agree more.about the commentators on TG4. I watched it back this morning and the smugness, condescension and the bias in favour of Kerry was sickening. And this is not the first time! (I thought it was just me!)
    Anyway that doesn’t matter. What does is that Kerry came to Castlebar to win and put us in our box but ended up on the end of an embarrassing defeat. Nobody should get carried away with this win but neither should it be played down.

  13. Travelling Wilbury, you and I were listening to completely different interviews in that case. Was also great at the end of the interview to hear Kevin’s wonderful words of support for Ger Brady. Great win last night. I’ve no doubt management and team will keep feet firmly on the ground but a lot of positives to take from it.

  14. Interesting results today, Galway with big win over Tyrone and without Walsh, Comer and Finnerty.

    Rossies beating Armagh leaves Tyrone, Donegal and Kerry as surprising relegation contenders.

  15. I’m going to be a bit smug myself now and show how my early fandom of Jordan Flynn has come good.

    Overall from Yesterday’s game, can’t take a whole lot from it other than to be happy with the win. Kerry are all Ireland champions and while they were missing a few, we were too and we managed to put them to the sword fairly easily. No all Irelands won in February and Kerry were certainly abysmal by their own standards. Having travelled up and down from Kerry the same day won’t have helped their cause any but I’m sure they’ll be smarting at the manner of the defeat.
    Lots of positives – thought Jordan, Connor Loftus and Hession were excellent. Very pleased with how we defended – save for the goal which I would hope we’ll learn from that one.
    Thought Matty was quiet enough by his standards and Fionn has had better days too.
    Tyrone will be going all out to get a result next week so we might be coming back to earth fairly sharply if we let them get what they want.
    The 3 Ulster teams are propping up the table and we have to play all of them. We need to get 3 points at least to be safe, I’d certainly hope we can manage that from our remaining 4 games.

  16. Took off my green & red tinted glasses & viewed a replay this morning.
    The Mayo backs were let off the hook, by inept Kerry finishing, on 9 occasions during the 1st 25mts – not as a result of close attention from opponents.
    It appears mandatory nowadays for backs to position themselves behind their opponent or worse still mark space which invariably concedes possession – illogical stuff.
    That said, alot of the Mayo play was exhilerating and with one or two more finishers their points tally would have exceeded 20.
    Jordan Flynn was tremendous – his footballing nous and scoretaking set him apart.
    On a general note, I think it’s very discourteous and must be demotivating for subs not to get meaningful game time – they may have more to offer than the preferred choice, which in many instances is subjective.

  17. Very good win for Mayo, fast energetic football in first half, every player moving with great pace, blew Kerry away which is very good but unusual to say least.
    Second half was a different ball game altogether, sloppy play, unnecessary fouling, a bit of meltdown again in the last 15 minutes, exactly the same stuff happened up in Armagh, Mayo coaches needs to sort that out quickly or they will be found out very quickly by the likes of Roscommon & Tyrone. It can be sorted out, keep concentrating for 70 + minutes.

  18. Those sorts of wins will never get old. Loads already covered here but Aidan put in a great shift again, the pop passes in particular (one on the knees as being tackled) and the kick to Ryan was a thing of beauty. Ryan class as per. Loftus right at the start seemed to get himself away from contact without too much hassle after taking a pass that looked like it could have put him into bother with an oncoming Kerry forward. There will be sterner tests for him and the over strategy, but still some quality teams left to play in the league – could get very interesting if coming up against teams needing points to stay up. Also, even though Loftus hit it wide, there was one passage shortly after that where it looked like Kerry backed off defensively and if you do have a CHB /sweeper who can get in range unopposed and have a decent chance at scoring that’s great. Fionn maybe didn’t have the best of games, but there was one phase where he was around the D moving away from the posts after a wide and played the smart simple ball onto Jordan who put it over rather than trying anything showy. Another one of Jordan’s points looked to be practiced where the left side of the pitch was overloaded and he drifted right himself to be in the centre to shoot. He could have an absolutely huge season – also the sight of Aidan and him inside for the long diagonal ball would give any defence nerves – both horsepower strong. DOC was great until taken off – hopefully nothing serious and just sensible management. Carr’s point from the mark was absolute class, never mind the goal. Brickenden looked to have a great game, at one point breaking a ball one handed by the sideline to another defender in a way that almost looked casual. The structure in the defense also looked great (always looked like there were bodies), though a bit of panic in the later stages nothing savage (high ball risk is definitely there though). McBrien living up to Boyler’s touting. Touhy great when he came on and that injection of pace deadly. Hession also great. One thing that stood out to me is that Cillian and Paddy Durcan both took on what looked to be low percentage shots – not a dig at them but how often would only a couple of instances like that stand out? Only the league etc, but if the result had been reversed I’d say there’d be a lot of nerves going forwards.

  19. Travelling Wilbury, I agree – I also found McStay rude to the TG4 interviewer post-game, cranky, agitated. And I am a McStay fan.
    However, I don’t think it was intentional rudeness. It felt to me that he was after a game where a lot was going on and his head was a bit light. I’d say he’s also at pains not to let a narrative of ‘marauding Mayo’ take off – he wants to keep things calm and step by step. I read in the Irish Times yesterday that they are looking game by game and the Mayo v Roscommon Championship game is the furthest ahead they are currently looking on the horizon.

  20. Great win by us yesterday as others have said they don’t come to often against Kerry.
    Very early days and only feb but the energy& pace seems back. Got to give mcstay , Rochford , buckley & mchale credit for it they are obviously doing something right.

    I thought mcstay did a good interview after was being positive but didn’t go overboard. As others said was nice he also mentioned Ger Brady at the end also.

    People saying kerry won the 2nd half I disagree they were always going to come back a bit and even with David clifford we held them off. Yes we do have stuff to learn from which I am sure the guys will take it on board.

    The young guys for mayo are really stepping up some exciting players Bob Touhy is really one to watch and reape is stepping up also in goals.

    Great to see Paddy Durcan back hope to see Tommy Conroy named against Tyrone.

    It would be great to get one over Tyrone they are always a tough test. But mayo by one or 2 I think ha. But mean while I will still enjoy this win! Great game guys.

  21. No matter the result people will always find something to give out about. If its not the football it is McStay`s interviews. He has been too upbeat after the draws and too rude after a win. Give it a rest lads.

    In regards to the game, the first half is one of the best i`ve seen played in McHale park in years. It is early days yet and teams will be stronger come championship but there is no reason for us not the enjoy and celebrate wins like last night`s.

    Tyrone wont be easy but with them only having a 6 day turn around and being on the road again a home game should give us a slight advantage.

  22. Great performance all round yesterday. Jeez i really can’t believe those talking about setting up for a fall and shite like that. Is losing all league games and having a go at the championship the way to go?kerry came to win and got beaten and nobody is or should be getting carried away. Without Clifford kerry are average and i reckon any of the top 6/7 teams would be favourites for the all ireland if he was playing for them. Look take the enjoyment from the win and use it for the week that’s what sport is about anyway. Regarding towey im a huge fan but I’ll take it the management know what they’re doing and he may get a chance when we safe. On a separate note I see galway started jack glynn after the sigerson final. Lucky for Joyce this is a mayo blog or he’d be crucified

  23. JKel88 very hard to fault much about yesterday. All Mayo can do is play what’s in front of them.
    Bringing on Coyne would be my only real gripe, from a player welfare perspective with all the games he has played in last few weeks, the game was done and dusted at that point.

    Should be able to be as good as secure safety next weekend v Tyrone, they seem to be off the pace currently when see results so far and what Galway done to them with so many key men missing.
    Will allow remaining games to build time in legs of lads returning from injury and wider panel.

  24. – O’Connor and Tally screwed up in a way by picking a physically small half forward line and two in their half back line (Murphy and Warren.)
    – This give us a great edge physically and added to us having a warm up a least 15 minutes longer than Kerry meant we were primed from the throw in.
    – Super scoring from Flynn, Carr good and Hession’s link play was excellent. Conor Loftus attacked from deep and made a good contribution. Mc Hugh also quietly impressed. We need to get more from Ruane and McDonagh is fast running out of road with some poor passes and seems to switch off in games.
    – Overall much better composure all round with Reape delivering two key scores when most needed.
    – It is unreal how little time and space David Clifford needs, he would excel at most sports and would make a great rugby full back ..
    – An under pressure Tyrone will be a much more physical test next Sat night…looking forward to it.

  25. Yeah I’ll echo that , I didn’t see the interview but why give a damn if he was rude , big deal .

  26. Some very good performances last night across the board. Our sweeper was very positive in his general play and was very very good in so many ways again. My only worry is that he isn’t a natural defender and he doesn’t take up the correct defensive positions. In the Galway game he was in no mans land for both goals. Last night it happened again. When the high ball came in for the Kerry goal, instead of pushing up to defend, our sweeper dropped back for some unknown reason and positioned himself 1m directly in front of Reape in the Mayo goal, again in no mans land. He might as well have been in the stand for all 3 goals. Now you’d see that at under 12 level the whole time, kids dropping back on to the goal line instead of pushing up, but at intercounty level that just shouldn’t happen. 3 goals conceded in the 3 games and in all 3 cases our sweeper system just didn’t work. He isn’t a defender and it’s asking an awful lot from the lad to expect him to become one that has to operate at the very highest level in a few month time period.

  27. I didn’t think McStay was rude at all in the interview. I thought some of the questions were ridiculous. How will he control the fans expectations of winning the all ireland after the win against Kerry. As ig to say that we’ll all go out and get our Mayo4sam 23 bumper stickers made up after a round 3 win against a depleted Kerry side. I wouldn’t blame McStay if he got a bit agitated with that line of questioning.

  28. I must have missed the beginning of the McStay interview, and his ‘rudeness’. What I am noticing is that interviewers come to McStay with an ‘ah a former pundit, let’s lob him a few curve balls, and see how he likes them’ attitude. And, another framing question is along the lines of ‘how is your lifetime ambition of managing Mayo working out? This may have been relevant a few days after appointment; it isn’t any longer. As posters have queried, would O’Connor be asked those questions?

    It’s all of a piece with media obsession with Clifford (good for us actually), and built-in assumptions about Mayo inferiority. Thus, Ryan toe-poked a goal, that was actually an amazing piece of skill, and Kerry were doing heavy training during the break. Yada, yada, yada.

  29. Also saw some kerry folk saying Jack o connor was smiling at end they must have been watching a differnt game I thought he looked fuming haha. Onwards & upwards.

    Fair play to under 20s& womens win to will make my monday that bit better ha

  30. Good win but Kerry were atrocious

    That’s probably the best thing about it for me, I don’t think we played any better or worse than the other two games, which suggests that it’s sustainable. With this being the first weekend of 5 in a row, we should get a better idea of how sustainable it really is. It’ll be difficult to show the same energy over such a sustained period of games but we’ve a strong squad and if we manage it well you never know

    Second half, the priority for me would nearly have simply not to pick up any injuries. Thought we managed it very well, late goal aside

    There was some poor shooting from both sides, which is very un Kerry like and suggests it was more to do with conditions than anything else

  31. Tone of Kevin’s interview was very different than the other two games. This one was more about calming things down and not getting too excited.

    He also clearly wanted to make mention of Ger Brady and that seemed to be what he most focused on throughout

  32. Very tight in Division 1 this year, it’s not looking like 6 points will guarantee survival.

    The way the fixtures have lined up though, our last two games look like they will go a long way to deciding who goes down, but it’s our next two that should decide if we’ll be involved

  33. @JP

    You’re correct. I don’t know why but I was convinced that we didn’t have a break between now and the end of the league. Whoopsie

  34. One other thing that I spotted, and liked was that after the second goal, Aidan seemed to drift all the way back to the fullback line. We’ve an awful habit of leaking goals at horrible times, such as this and I for one think it’s a good idea to put him back there for a few minutes at times like this

  35. Kerry arrogance given suitable exhilarating answer.
    Not even bothering to stay the night before or after!!!
    New management should be given time and space and respect.

  36. I’m surprised that a good few pundits (Mayo ones included) are expecting Robbie to waltz back into the number 1 spot on his return. For me, Reape is now our number 1. He deserves to hold onto the jersey until his performances prove otherwise. He’s still learning but is gaining massive experience and more importantly his confidence is showing big time. Just look at those absolute belters of free kicks. Another trait he has is his ease carrying ball, holding ball, sweeper-keeper if you like. Nothing wrong with his kickouts either, and teams are kicking long more now anyway.

    Also just to mention the Rochy factor again. Can’t overstate how tactically important this man is to Mayo. I think we’re seeing his stamp over this team. It’s so satisfying to see the entire management team geling so well, and I’m sure they’re all playing a crucial role in their own way.

    Finally, i think it would be unfair to put all of yesterday down to Kerry not turning up. Look at Mayo’s second half performance against Armagh (bar the ending). They were absolutely outstanding for those 25mins. Yesterday was further incremental improvement of a similar style and similar tactics.

  37. Not sure if this the appropriate place to ask, but that ger brady that’s sick? Is that former ballina and mayo player ger brady, brother of david

  38. I was really impressed with Donnacha McHugh last night. Looked very comfortable on the ball, good defensive positioning and made some great carries and runs out of defence. Another year or two of conditioning can make him into a top level intercounty wing back. His fisted point towards the end showed a good level of maturity and decision making when a point was needed to effectively put the game to bed.

  39. It’s the other Ger Brady, Supermac – he’s the one from Claremorris. Both of them were on the Mayo scene around the same time. Such a sad situation, the poor guy has MND.

  40. @Liberal
    Agree on Reape, back him with the number 1 spot now for rest of league and championship opener if he is performing. Absolutely no reason hennelly (or anyone) should just walk back onto the team. We know enough about henbelly at this stage.

    The role has changed now and you need a comfortable footballer playing in goals these days and reape is that having spent most of gis time outfield, same as Morgan from tyrone and galligan from cavan amongst others

  41. Thought McStay interview was anything but rude. Surely we in Mayo are sick of comments that we lose the run of ourselves after a good win. Kevin just asked the interviewer to turn the dial down a bit. No doubt the next question would be of the Mayo for Sam variety. McStay is no fool. He realises that though progress so far is very positive, we have won one of our three league games, even if it was against Kerry. Amazingly he was accused of being too upbeat after our draws. No point getting over excited or too downbeat at this stage regardless of results. We are motoring nicely and that is all we can ask for at this stage. Nice touch of him to mention Ger Brady in the interview and he expressed gratitude to interviwer for being allowed to do that.

  42. What a nice way to get your first competitive win as manager. Kerry were rubbish for most of it but our need was greater and we can only play whoever turns up in front of us. The process of how we play is evolving nicely and there’s a strong sense of the freshness of a team going places – something that we lost over the last few years. Optimism is growing. Wins breed confidence and the way we took our scores as typified by Jordan Flynn , ROD and James Carr. Our defensive system worked well and that goal scored by Kerry in the end gave us something to work on. Tyrone will be a different gravy next week in their own back yard but for now we’ll enjoy this one. Onwards and upwards.

  43. Delighted with Mayo progress so far and absolute rubbish about the Kevin McStay interview. Only worry is our panic at the back under high ball. Expect Tyrone to really test us on that one next week. Galway very impressive today and Roscommon motoring along. Connacht championship wil be red hot.

  44. Some people just want to see/hear what they want. Of all the things to throw at McStay being rude to the media is up there with the most ridiculous

  45. Roscommon will be hard beat I reckon. It will be a rip roaring game. Where is the match? In McHale Park?

  46. Just watched the Kevin McStay interview. How anyone could construe his demeanour in it as rude is beyond me, it simply wasn’t the case at all. And, into the bargain, the way he used the opportunity to mention Ger Brady and the appeal was pure class.

  47. Kerry pundits have successfully built up an aura around Sean O’Shea being some kind of superstar gamechanger and it’s quite amusing.
    “Oh we were missing SOS and David Clifford”
    Let’s be clear on one thing – there is a gulf between both these players that is measured in light years. Clifford is a freak of nature of the kind we have never really seen before, probably already the best GAA player in the 140 odd year history of the sport.
    Sean o Shea is just a run of the mill, decent forward. Nice player, excellent free taker alright, but lacks a yard of pace and I believe he can be pretty easily nullified in big games. There have been dozens of footballers of similar level to Sean o Shea in recent years across several counties including our own and we have handled them with ease at various stages.
    To be honest I’d be more concerned about an inform Paul Geaney than SOS if we met them again in summer. I sense that someone like Paddy Durcan could handle SOS just fine.
    Now Clifford on the other hand is a different beast. A real problem for every opposition. He’s almost impossible to block down. McBrien is probably the best guy we have to limit the damage he does but you are talking about keeping him to 5 or 6 points really, and hoping the other forwards can be blotted out enough to get the job done.
    To me that’s what success looks like against David Clifford.

  48. Yeah, Clifford is basically unmarkable. No matter the angle or how much pressure is applied, he is still able to get shots away. Starving him of ball is probably the only way to limit him and even then, he is inevitably going to get the ball sometimes. McBrien did ok on him, but he will be very difficult to manage in summer.

  49. No guarantees we will have to deal with Clifford again during the Summer but if we do and Mc Brien has another half dozen games under his belt I reckon he will have his number .

  50. @liamontherun.the Tyrone game is in Mchale Park. @pullhard the roscommon game is in the Hyde and @mikey3 i couldn’t agree more regarding s o shea i was saying that last night in company but didn’t get much agreement. He’s an excellent freetaker and adds a couple from play every now and again but there’s at least anything from 10/12 better forwards in the country

  51. Would have to say I agree with @Mikey3’s assessment of SOS v DC. Aside from cutting off the supply to DC, the only other thing given the way he’s playing at the moment might be to pray for a soapy ball. Maybe a trip to Knock ahead of our next outing with them might be in order.

  52. @Mikey3
    You’re right about Sean o Shea. A good player alright but he wouldn’t give you sleepless nights. Same with Paudie Clifford.
    David Clifford on the other hand is a generational talent. A truly brilliant player who will go down as an all time great.
    Would there be an argument to try and double mark Clifford? Try and limit him and bargain that whoever was left spare on the Kerry side wouldn’t do too much damage instead.
    I wonder how Lee Keegan at his very best would have coped with Clifford. It would be some battle!

  53. Meant to say in previous post I’m in agreement with probably everyone about Clifford. We are watching a genius and probably the greatest forward in the history of the game at work. It will be a rarity that he finishes any meaningful game scoreless and more often than not will be each games topscorer.

  54. It was a great win last night but on reflection Kerry were not at the races at all. They had very little intensity and no bursting runs from their back line whatsoever were forthcoming. They just looked very legged. Mayo had a shed load of space in and around the 22 compared to the Galway and Armagh games. Tadgh Morley didn’t seem to be up to the pace at all and he really is some operator in the white heat of championship. Their bus apparently arrived at 6pm and they did their warm up in Mitchell’s pitch and didn’t run out onto mchale Park until 7.18pm! I would welcome the win but take it with a pinch of salt.
    Saying that all you can do is beat what’s in front of you. Aidan was outrageous and didn’t lose one ball all evening. I also think we have a very good manager in McStay. He is level headed, shrewd and realistic. We will be contenders in the summer and I can’t wait.
    As a by the by Armagh may be in for a tough game next weekend down in Kerry because I’d say Jack is bulling!!!

  55. Clifford is certainly another level of player, left or right he is deadly, I do hope that referees cop on to the way he holds the chest of the defender. McBrien was pulled for a foul at one stage yet I’d say he as bruising all over his chest from Clifford grabbing at him. I think McBrien a decent match on him, has good strength and pace, however, the ball in needs to be under pressure and support around to help marking him. It looks like a lot of work is going into the defensive structure of the team though and with the calibre of man markers, combined with a more disciplined structure I expect coke summer we will be difficult to beat.

  56. I think that once the ball is in Clifford’s hands it’s too late.
    Probably 8/10 times the ball is in DC hands a score is eventuating from somewhere. That’s a staggering level to be at in all honesty, unlike anything we have seen before. Double marking might work to a degree on him but I think a well organised defensive structure forcing him out away from goal to shoot is about the best way to limit the damage. Oisin Mullin is still the best I’ve seen marking in a one on one situation but that kind of strategy is still flawed as you can’t win every single ball now matter how good you are.
    McBrien is a good place to start when dealing with him though. I think Clifford is probably the single biggest hurdle to us winning Sam still. He’s carrying an otherwise average side on his back already and I’m not seeing any new stars coming through this year to shoulder the load for them.
    At the same time something feels off about Kerry last night. They were flat, almost disinterested and will definitely be a different beast come summer.

  57. I’d say Kerry were putting in some heavy training. Arriving not long before the match isn’t the wisest thing either from a County so far away. Our lads did well but wouldn’t get carried away. Kerry had 57% posession for most of the 1st half and we stopped wasting our chances while limiting the quality of chances they had. Kerry blew Tryone away in the league in 2021 and a few months later Tyrone took them out of the Championship. McBrien was fouled by Clifford for one of those points where a free in was given. He also had a fould given against him for a 1st half point which wasn’t a foul. Hurson made a few dodgy calls mostly against us. I see McBrien as the full back and Brickendon fighting for a place in either the FB or half back line. Can’t see him in ahead of Ducrcan and O’ Hora, Hession is coming good. Likewise I think McHugh isn’t I think going to be a starting defender come 2023 championship but is rising towards the level. I thought Coyne showed great pace despite hearing he’s had too many Sigerson games and think he’ll rise ahead of the other contenders for a defensive slot as will Callinan. When Plunkett gets back he’ll more likely be competing for a HF slot this time. Tuohy could end up as our left footed wing forward rather than in midfield or CHF getting in ahead of McDonagh and Orme. Aido lasted full 70+ without tiring because he stayed inside more and didn’t waste a ball, his offloading was excellent. What is good is our energy, we look to have more than the other Div 1 teams right now but we still need more forward threat. Early on in this game we had just as many wides as Kerry. Diarmaid was the best of the midfielders on show, hope his injury clears, should management not give him a rest to clear it 100% ?

  58. Just a few observations on the weekend games.
    Mayo continue to improve and are ahead of Kerry in preparation.
    Fuss being made about McStay’s interview is nitpicking and frivolous.
    Jordan Flynn getting the recognition his hard work and control of temperament deserves, top player.
    Roscommon playing well and are dangerous.
    The refereeing in the Cork/Dublin game with cards dished out for nothing was ridiculous.
    Jack McCaffrey looks as good as ever.
    The amount of soccer style diving and feigning injury is getting out of hand and too many refs falling for the theatrics. Lads getting tackled with an arm across the chest rolling around holding their head is embarrassing.
    In general a good league so far.

  59. Don’t think anyones getting carried way its pnly early days and a lot can happen between now & championship.

    However its great to see the energy , pave & confidence back after last year. It was a well deserved win for us and I saw loads from other counties saying going onto the pitch after was ridiculous.

    I don’t think so it was a load of kids trying to meet their hereos sure Armagh invaded the pitch also against us haha.

  60. Great to see the kids charging on to the field after the game. Shame to whoever gave the orders to get the players off the field quickley. The kids are the future of the sport, so let them get a selfie with their heroes. Kids running around the field will only help with the growth of the grass and firm up the pitch. Otherwise they will be back to the TV to watch Man United.

  61. @Mikey while I agree with your general point that Clifford is miles ahead of everyone else, I have to pull you up on a few of those Sean O’Shea comments. He is pure class and it’s unfair to dismiss him just because people say ‘they’re missing O’Shea and Clifford’. No one is suggesting they are equal but comparing him to Paul Geaney is daft. Geaney is a tidy footballer who won All Stars when he became Kerry’s main forward in that barren period for Kerry after James O’Donoghue and before David Clifford. Last year, he was subbed off just after half-time in the Dublin game (where O’Shea scored 1-2 from play) and at half-time in the final. He’s all but finished, in my opinion.

    O’Shea is an out-and-out competitor with complete belief in his abilities. He may have looked off the pace in Castlebar this weekend (though his point from play off his left was majestic) but like the rest of his team, he will be a different animal come championship. He’s also deceptively fast. One of the best forwards in Ireland, without doubt.

  62. I have had the thought seeing all these comments about David Clifford being the GOAT and ahead of everyone else . I’d love to know how this sits with the rest of the Kerry team ? The idea that we are playing with one of the greatest and with so much talk of being better than anyone else so this thinking deep into the mentality of the other players and that we are mere mortals to this guy ? I think personally it has to and I think a dynamic like that might be great for a while I don’t think it’s sustainable for a team long term.

  63. Guaranteed there will be an incident with one of these kids or a supporter after a game at some point. There was very close to a flashpoint between Aidan o Shea and Casey at the end of the game – within ten seconds there were 50-60 kids around them. If that incident had got out of control – some child could have got knocked over and hurt. Or some supporter could get involved with a player – we could then end up having wire put up around the pitch again.
    I would like to see the players allowed to leave the pitch at the end of 75 minutes, have there shower, tog in and do there wind down stretching in comfort. Then after 40 minutes let the players come out and meet the kids in “meet and greet” location somewhere up in the stand. It’s the least the players deserve.
    We didnt see that pitch invasion in Derry, Tuam, the Hyde or Cork over the weekend.

  64. I rarely complain about silly things but does anyone else think the new jerseys look like the lads are wearing red training bibs?

  65. Christ but Anthony Moyles is insufferable in his inability to give any credit to Mayo. Saying Kerry only had four starters compared to a full strength Mayo is nonsense and well he knows it

  66. Luckily enough we beat Kerry or that damned jersey would have been the reason we didn’t…. it’s not great surely…why the need to change anyway. The traditional one was hardly going to clash with the Kerry blue.

  67. I’m pretty sure Tyrone played Derry in a league final in the early 90s, drew it, played Derry the following week in the Ulster championship, and played Derry again in the replay the following week. Life continued as normal.

  68. Look,we newsLetters anyone think that if Kerry best us they would say it is only February,we need to have more confidence in our team and management,we need to believe that we are capable of doing it again in summer,we need to trow off this inferiority complex,we are one of the top teams in Ireland,no talk about three year plans,be greedy win the league and all Ireland this year,then we can talk about another two or three in succession,we have a defensive system in place our attack is scoring,we are in a great position provided with a little luck with injuries,Mayo for Sam

  69. After the last few games I think Horan wasted Aiden O Shea for the last few years. He was playing everywhere and no where, he was full back at times also center half back , midfield , chf and Full forward and nobody knew where he was supposed to be playing. Did Aiden do that himself or was that his orders from the line, at end of the day Manager is in charge and players should do as he directs them. Time also for Aiden to stop going to midfield for the throw in, how many has he won lately, even in the last few games he has left fullforward too much. Leave The Bear in The Square that will keep keeper back and at least two more back from going forward. Thus leaving much more room for Mayo players to move ball quickly and more space to do so.

  70. Good one Culmore – what you said has been unanswered for the last few years. A bit unfair on the player also you would think. He now has a focus – we know he does not score – that is ok. Catch high ball, hand pass, get frees, barge but most importantly no goalkeeper or full back will dare ignore him. Well done on management – common sense has entered the equation. Also by keeping him anchored means he conserves energy.

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